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Apparently Google Search ranks pages with unique content higher than pages that have content that is originally from somewhere else (e.g. 'Wikipedia').

In a web site I am building, I show some specific information about different influential people. Each person's page also includes an abstract about that person which is sourced from Wikipedia, as well as a read more link to the original Wikipedia article.

In order to improve ranking of these pages, is it better to render this information inline so it is indexible by Google, or is it better to load it via Ajax, hence not visible to Google bots?

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Some amount of duplicate content is fine. If the text is only 10% of the page, I wouldn't worry about any duplicate content penalties. If the text is the majority of the page, then Google will likely filter that page if you don't load the syndicated text with AJAX. See What is duplicate content and how can I avoid being penalized for it on my site?

When you use content from Wikipedia, make sure you comply with their license. Properly licensed content is much less likely to be penalized by Google than "scraped" or "stolen" content. See Can Wikipedia content be used on a custom wiki on a site?

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There are two options to use content from another site on your site:

  1. Add a rel=canonical tag to the content with the link being the one to the original content if majority of the page's content is from another source.
  2. Add <meta name="original-source content="link to original site" /> if only parts of the content is taken from a source.

As there is no real way to prevent parts of a page from being indexed, the ways to achieve it gets limited to loading the content in an external javascript file or external iFrame and adding a rule in the robots.txt to prevent it from getting indexed. Inline javascript won't be safe as Google has this habit of looking into javascript files, sometimes.

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